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The Industrial that refused to heal and the rook that refused to stop bleeding

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A few years ago while in Manhattan, I stopped in at Venus Designs to get two piercings - a rook and an industrial. I had NEVER seen an industrial in person - only a few times in photographs. I wanted it specifically because it was fairly rare and extremely cool. The rook was also chosen for the same reasons. I did not have an appointment...... even so I only had to wait about 30 minutes.

My piercer was George, who was doing a guest stint. He is from a shop in Australia that has a sister shop relationship with Venus... sorry, I am not sure of the name of it. We discussed size and placement. I wanted to make sure that the placement did not interfere with wearing glasses. I was a little worried that the three-at-once piercing would be pretty intense. He put on his first pair of gloves before he picked up his measuring tools (calipers, other precision measuring devices). After taking measurements he selected a nice 10 gauge captive ring for the rook, and a 10 ga. barbell for the industrial, and made the placement markings. A fresh pair of gloves and a brand new needle and we were ready to go. The needle was bent by hand to allow it to pass through the rook without hitting other spots of the ear. I took three breaths, and on the third exhale he pushed through. It was painful but not as bad as I had expected. It was very snug, there was a quick flash of pain accompanied by a solid "crunch", followed by a burning sensation. Installing the jewelery was fairly quick, with only a little discomfort. He cleaned up a few very small drops of blood and then took a short breather before the industrial.

Another glove change was performed before handling the barbell and another fresh needle. Again I took three breaths, and the needle passed through the first spot of the industrial on the third exhale. Tight, slightly painful, and the familiar burning sensation returned. I suppose it did not hurt as bad after the fairly intense rook! A short pause, another three deep breaths, and he pushed the needle through the secont spot. The jewelery installed fairly easily without any fuss, and then it was time to check the mirror - BAD ASS!!! It was exactly what I wanted and then some. I relaxed in the chair for a few while the endorphin rush took over, and I was given the basic cleaning/care instructions.

I was very satisfied with the procedure when it was completed, and I left to wander the city for a bit before I had to catch the train home. About two hours later, while standing on the train platform in Grand Central, my mom noticed that there was a trickle of blood on my neck. The rook was bleeding, and my ear was pooling up with blood. I ran to the porta-bar at the end of the platform and grabbed a handful of napkins. All through the nearly 2 hour ride home, I applied pressure to try to stop the bleeding. It did slow some, but never really stopped. After dinner I was relaxing on the couch, as my head was really pounding at this time. The blood flow only got stronger - in a panic I called the shop but they had already left for the night. I left a very terrified sounding message on their machine. I had lost what I thought to be a signifigant amount of blood and was actually considering a trip to the emergency room. I really did not want to lose the piercing so again I applied pressure...... the blood slowed down again, ALMOST to the point of stopping. I went to bed with a clean pillow, only to awake with one that was partially soaked in blood!! Over the night the blood had stopped, and I was able to clean away the dried blood with several moist Q-tips. Shortly after I was finished cleaning, George returned my message. He explained that a little bleeding is typical, and while bleeding like I experienced is not common, it is not a bad sign. From that point on I did not have any signifigant blood episodes with the rook, and it actually healed fairly quickly, and very well! I had no keloiding at all (I typically have frequent keloids) and it was easy to maintain.

While the rook started out on shaky ground before recovery, the industrial was the exact opposite. It started off well - the redness subsided quickly, and it was only painful if I tried to sleep on it. It continually developed crusties - in fact I would call it a crust FARM. I harvested so much crust I could have sold the shit!! After six months I began to worry, since there were some nasty bumps on all sides of it, and the crusties never stopped. I tried one of the things that every piercing FAQ said NOT to use - Hydrogen Peroxide. It fizzed up heavily, indicating to me that there was an infection. It was more important to kill the infection then use materials reccomended by the FAQ's!! I kept up that routine for a few months until the crust deposits shrunk, along with the bumps! They were still visible, but not as bad. Later on during this healing process, Jimmy at the Darkside in East Haven, CT started and completed a double industrial on my other ear. A year into that one, the first ear was still not healing!! I took out the barbell, and noticed that the upper exit hole was especially angry looking. Imagine a the impression a bowling ball will leave on wet sand - my ear looked like that!! I wasnt sure if the original barbell was "slightly" too short, or it was putting pressure on the ear in "just" the wrong spot.. whatever the deal, my ear was pissed off!! Two years after it was done, I decided to try something else. I had Jimmy remove the barbell and install two 10 gauge captives. After a few months, the bumps had almost disappeared completely, and the crusties had stopped fully. I removed the rings at home with a ring spreader from Sears, and reinstalled the barbell on my own. Still, I needed to use an insertion taper to get the bastard through, but after that it was ALL better. Finally.

I would definitely reccomend the industrial to anyone interested, although with this caution: take your time!! My double industrial was done first with rings, with the barbells installed later. Although it keloided for a while, it healed in a fair ampount of time. The original 10 gauge on the other ear was done with the barbell initially, and in my case was MUCH more difficult to manage / heal. In the words of custom jeweler extroadinaire Budsy the Ugg (Darkside East Haven CT), "don't try to be too cool too fast." Have the piercing done with rings first, and install the barbells after healing is complete. Your ears will respect you in the morning.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Aug. 1999
in Ear Piercing

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